In a galaxy Jar Jar away…

As we all know, the prequels are the very worst of the Star Wars movies, which says a lot considering the Holiday Special that aired in 1978. Often I hear Episode I cited as the worst of the three, though for me it is the best one. Please hear me out.

Essentially, there are three main elements of the first movie that ruined it for us: 1) Jar Jar Binks, 2) dull and unending political drama, and 3) all that midichlorians talk, including a mind-baffling virgin birth. Of course, there’s more about the movie that was bad, but these things are the holy trinity of suck in this steaming heap of cine-crap. Admittedly, Lucas and company made what seemed to be the necessary adjustments to the next two films. Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith barely have Jar Jar, they hold back on midichlorian dialogue, and the action is ramped up tenfold. HOW-EV-AH…

I would make the argument that if you managed to take those three elements out of Phantom Menace you would have a more than decent movie. Everybody agrees that the pod racing scene was good. The opening was a pretty cool scene too, despite the antagonists appearing to be some kind of Asian caricature. And if I had to pick the best lightsaber fight from all seven movies made so far, there’s no doubt in my mind that the one at the climax of episode I between Kenobi, Gin, and Maul would be the winner. Yes, the Luke-Vader ones from Empire and Jedi are more iconic and relatable, but this battle is awesome. The only bad thing about it is {SPOILER ALERT} Maul getting sliced in half. He was such a perfect villain, and if he had lived he may have just saved Attack of the Clones from it’s awfulness. I’m sure it would have still managed to be a bad movie, but Maul would have helped considerably.

And though, Lucas ditched Jar Jar for the succeeding episodes, let’s not forget what he added to both films: a grown up Anakin. Don’t kid yourself—he’s every bit as annoying as the goofy Gungan. He’s a whiny momma’s boy who throws fits and is in constant need of a sitter. He practically ruined the fear and respect we all had for Darth Vader (thank goodness Rogue One helped redeem that).

As for Episode 2, I did enjoy the scene where {SPOILER ALERT} Yoda opens his cloak to reveal a light saber and prepares to fight. It’s one of my favourite Star Wars scenes, though it’s kind of ruined by the actual fight itself. He looked tough, yes, but a little too berzerk. Not to mention twirly. Very twirly. Other than that, I can’t think of any scene in that movie that was good. So if we were to assume that removing bad elements of Phantom Menace could leave us with, at the very least, a watchable movie; doing the same with Episode 2 would simply leave is with Yoda pulling out a lightsaber followed by end credits.

The same can be said about Episode 3. I can remember watching it thinking that at least the scene where we see Vader’s mask being put on Anakin was good. But again, those brief seconds get ruined by what immediately follows. None of us needed to hear Vader bellow out “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” I should admit that the visual of Anakin crawling in the ash at the end of his lightsaber battle quite striking, but at the time all I could think was {SPOILER ALERT} “Obi Wan! You cut off his limbs and then leave him for dead? That’s ice cold bro!”

Don’t even get me started on the romance story that the ol’ Casanova himself, George Lucas dreamed up. Ugh. Just thinking of it makes me actually long for a JLo romcom.

Congratulations Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Natalie Portman as PadmeThere’s no question that it’s her worst acting performance, especially in Revenge of the Sith, but I don’t blame her so much for that.

Best Actor: Ewan McGregor as Obi Wan Kenobi. I think he’s also got the only quotable quotes in the series.

Best Quote: Why do I get the feeling that we’ve picked up another pathetic life form?” — Obi Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in The Phantom Menace.

And yes, I am very excited for The Last Jedi. Maybe Rey will take out some Gungans in this one.

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